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Taylor v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 25, 2017

DOUGLAS W. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., PHIL MARTIN, and DR. JOHN COE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge

         Now pending before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies filed by Defendant Phil Martin on September 9, 2016 (Doc. 116).

         Introduction

         Plaintiff, Douglas Taylor, and inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections currently housed at Lawrence Correctional Center, is proceeding on his Third Amended Complaint filed on June 17, 2016 (Doc. 102), in which he makes the following claims:

Count 3: Deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against Wexford Health Sources, Inc., for maintaining unconstitutional practices or policies with respect to staffing the optometrist position and procedures for requesting medical care.
Count 4: Deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against Defendant Dr. John Coe for failing to treat Plaintiff's eye condition from June 7, 2012, to the present.
Count 5: Failure to intervene against Defendant Dr. John Coe for failing to prevent harm related to his eye condition caused by Dr. Hohenbary's[1] deliberate indifference.
Count 6: Deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against Defendant Phil Martin for failing to treat Plaintiff's eye condition and/or by delaying treatment.

(Doc. 105).

         In a Report and Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson found that Plaintiff had exhausted his administrative remedies as to Defendants Wexford Health Sources, Inc., Dr. Coe, and Dr. Hohenbary (who has since been dismissed) (Doc. 103). Specifically, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson found that Plaintiff had submitted grievances on September 11, 2013, and November 7, 2013, related to the claims in this case. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson further found that the administrative process was rendered unavailable and that Plaintiff was deemed to have exhausted his administrative remedies. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson did not address whether the grievances were adequate or timely, or whether the content of the grievances sufficiently complied with the Illinois Administrative Code, because those arguments were not made by the moving Defendants.[2] Defendant Martin now makes those arguments to this Court.

         Both parties have adopted the factual findings of Magistrate Judge Wilkerson. As such, there are no factual disputes that would require a hearing pursuant to Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008). Defendant Martin argues that neither grievance filed by Plaintiff provided the necessary information required by the Illinois Administrative Code.

         Background

         In the September 11 grievance (Doc. 79, pp. 39-40), Plaintiff stated that he had been waiting more than 17 months to have his eyes checked. As a result, he was suffering from daily migraines that intensified when he attempted to focus his eyes on blurry objects. He noted that his doctor told him to have his eyes checked as soon as possible, but his requests to health care for an appointment were ignored. He requested that his eyes be checked in a timely manner and that he obtain glasses, if necessary. Plaintiff did not name any particular person in this grievance. His counselor responded by indicating that he was scheduled to see the optometrist that month.

         The November 7 grievance likewise did not name any particular person (Id. 41-42). It stated that, notwithstanding the response to the September 11 grievance, Plaintiff still had not been seen by the optometrist. Plaintiff requested an investigation into the matter, to be seen by the optometrist, and money damages. In response, the counselor indicated that his previous appointment had been cancelled due to “more emergent eye exams or due to follow-up exams” and that his next appointment, on November 12, 2013, was “not a guarantee.” Again, as indicated above, neither party disagrees with the ...


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